Commercial builders are looking for every edge they can get in cost, construction time and the quality of the finished product. Structural insulated panels (SIPs) help complete construction on time and within budget. Furthermore, SIPs have a number of advantages over traditional framing in strength, insulation and energy efficiency.
Why Structural Insulated Panels?
SIPs are high-performance modular building systems. They can be used in both industrial and commercial construction. The panels are made of two structural facings that enclose an insulating foam core. An example is the Isowall from Structural Panels, Inc., in which laminated sheet steel is bonded to the core.
While their popularity has soared in recent years, SIPs aren’t new. The concept was initially proposed in 1935, and the first foam core was developed in 1952. The panels can be used for walls, partitions and ceilings. They can be built to size for all kinds of building designs.
Advantages of SIPs
Structural insulated panels are fast, strong, tight and they save money.
SIPs Are Quick and Cost-Effective
The quicker the construction, the faster the return on the commercial investment. SIPs reduce build time by as much as half. That’s largely because interior, exterior, insulation and framing are included in each panel. Builders using SIPs for the first time are often surprised by how fast and easy they are to work with. Once the structure is in place, insulated panels continue to save money because they require less maintenance than traditional studded walls.
SIPs Are Strong
Structural insulated panels can be large enough for a gymnasium, auditorium or church. Their extraordinary strength allows them to span long distances in large buildings with few posts and trusses. A panelled building will withstand high winds and can be constructed to exceed building codes.
SIPs Save Energy
Insulated panels not only save energy during the construction phase by reducing build time. With their superior tightness and insulating quality, they continue to keep the owner’s heating and cooling costs low during the life of the structure. SIPs are typically about 50 percent more energy-efficient than traditional wood-framed units. Many commercial buildings with insulated panels will require smaller and less expensive HVAC equipment.
These panels also use less energy during their manufacture than materials for wood construction.
SIPs Improve Internal Air Quality
A building with insulated panels is a tight building. With the high-performing insulated envelope, the only air coming in is through controlled and filtered ventilation. Dust, wind, sand and rain find it hard to infiltrate. Air-borne pollen, allergens and other contaminants are kept outside where they belong.
The construction of commercial buildings is rapidly evolving. Building owners demand a product that is delivered quickly at a competitive cost and will be durable and energy-efficient for an extended useful and profitable life. Today’s selection of structural insulated panels provides a tool that smart builders can leverage for a competitive edge in today’s commercial construction market.